Last year, Japan experienced a surge of the Halloween spirit leading to estimates of ¥122 billion being spent on costumes, treats and entertainment.
This year looks set to be much the same with spooky activities lasting for weeks — it’s less All Hallow’s Eve than it is All Hallow’s Month.
Keep an eye out for small activities, suitable for families, in your own neighborhood. If you want to go big, however, amusement parks such as Tokyo Disney Resort, Sanrio Puroland and Yomiuriland are going all out this year with spooky decorations, thrilling parades and enchanting live performances that take place regularly until the end of the month.
Universal Studios Japan is hosting an ongoing “over-the-top extravaganza,” with a parade, trick-or-treating and a costume party during the day. At 6 p.m., however, the park becomes a collection of nightmares in which you run the risk of bumping into zombies or, at a haunted house attraction, being chased by movie monsters like Chucky from the film “Child’s Play” or Sadako from “The Ring.”
National landmarks will have a more relaxed approach to the Western holiday. Kyushu’s Huis Ten Bosch has built a giant tower out of jack-o’-lanterns, and at Legoland Discovery Center kids can help build a 20,000-brick “super-giant ghost pumpkin.” Tokyo Skytree will stick to the standard performances and decorations, which should still make for great selfies.
In Chiba, Halloween Dash is a costume run and obstacle course rolled into one event. Jog as a team through smoke, water, bubbles and other obstacles. Upon completion of the dash, there will be DJs, cosplayers and even more bubbles.
Odaiba Decks will put on a light show and an interactive projection mapping dome attraction, while Tokyo Dome City has deals on its attractions, face painting for kids and a parade. Sunshine City Aquarium in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district is collaborating with haunted house producer Hirofumi Gomi for a sensory horror experience that may be suitable for kids.
If you’re looking for a family friendly event in Nagoya, check out Bluebonnet Halloween for costumes and a stamp rally.
In Sapporo, head to Shiroi Koibito Park, which is already famous for its cookies and chocolates. There will be magic shows on the weekends and a costume contest on Oct. 23 at Cheddar House (though applications are already closed).